In the first episode of season three of the Robertson and Easterling podcast, Craig Robertson teams up with Eva Hunter from Lifeworks Counseling in our most powerful episode yet. You’ll meet Caitlyn, who has overcome extraordinary difficulty in her family. You will hear about female intuition, betrayal trauma, and choices that limit future options. Eva reminds Caitlyn and our listeners about the three C’s – Cause, Change, and Control. As an avid problem-solver, Caitlyn must overcome her fear of the unknown to discover what’s really going on with her family. She must decide whether she will continue to chase happiness in a world of intensity or trust her second brain to pursue the truth that will ultimately change the course of life as she knows it.
The episode was recorded on October 21, 2020 at the office of R+E by Blue Sky Media.
Matt: Welcome to season three of the Robertson and Easterling podcast. I’m Matt Easterling
Craig: and I’m Craig Robertson, Matt and I are board certified family law attorneys with decades of combined experience serving Mississippians throughout our fine state.
Matt: In 2019, we began wondering if the struggles our firm deals with on a daily basis could be used to help the general public. And from there, the Robertson Easterling podcast was born.
Craig: During the first two seasons, we had open and honest discussions with everyday people about their individual relationship journeys, some ending in heartbreak and others in redemption, but all with powerful stories to tell.
Matt: in season three, you will hear more of the same stories from other marriage and divorce survivors, as well as from our new co-hosts. Eva and Roane Hunter from LifeWorks counseling. Eva and Roane are both licensed professional counselors, and we’re excited to partner with them and hear the different perspective they’re going to have for all of our listeners.
Craig: Speaking of listening, if you’re new to our podcast and haven’t heard seasons one and two, be sure to check them out on iTunes, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player. Now sit back, relax and enjoy today’s show. What you’re about to hear is going to help.
Craig: Back with another episode of the Robertson and Easterling podcast. We are sponsored by our friends at LifeWorks counseling, and I’m excited today that our co-host is Eva Hunter. Eva, thanks for being with us.
Eva: Glad to be here, Craig.
Craig: I am so excited to have Eva with us, but I’m even more excited to have our guests today who probably one of my all time favorite clients. This is Caitlyn and Caitlyn is very brave, very beautiful. Caitlyn, thanks for being with us here. So let’s just jump right in, you know, a big part of what we do is talk about people’s story, the story of their life, the story of their relationship, and that’s what I’d like for us to do today. So give us a little background, tell us a little bit about what it was like for you.
Caitlyn: Uh, I grew up in a really small town. We know church was a big part of, of my life growing up. Were there basically every time the doors were open, we were at church. It was a big part of my life. And growing up in a small town, you know, everybody knows everybody. So, another part of my life probably would be that growing up. My dad was never really very present. My mom was there most of the time, my dad, he was gone maybe only home one or two nights during the week. And when he was home, he was an alcoholic and drank and you know, he would be verbally abusive, not only to me, but my sister and my mother. So that was probably a big part of my life.
Craig: So what I heard you say was you’re from small town in Mississippi, that everybody knew everybody that you guys were at church every time the door was open. And you struggled with a relationship with your dad, he wasn’t present. He drank too much. And because you’re from a small town, uh, did you know your husband, when you were a teenager?
Caitlyn: So, I met my husband in high school. We went to the same school. I really got to know him in high school. We were in a show choir together where he was a show choir tech, because in high school you do everything to get out and go into class. So if you can get that show choir tech and, and go with all the show choir girls to all the show, choir performances, that’s what you do.
Craig: You’re on stage. And he was behind the scenes?
Caitlyn: Right, so that’s really how we got to know each other.
Eva: You were on the stage and he was really behind the scenes. How did the two of you connect?
Caitlyn: So that wasn’t High school. And then in college, it’s really, when we connected, my sister lived in the same neighborhood as his parents, like the house right in front of his parents. And so I was fixing to go into college my freshman year and he was a junior in college, actually studying to go to med school, take the LSAT. And my sister had a pool. And so he was supposed to be studying. But instead he was over at my sister’s house. We started hanging out and swimming and we had known each other, you know, we known each other all through high school. So now this is college. We reconnected that way. And we hung out that whole summer and basically were together ever since I would drive for the weekends to stay at Mississippi state, go to the football games. We did all that. Really our relationship was easy and fun, and we were really best friends. Like we told each other everything and we loved each other. I mean, I think to an extent we probably still love each other. It’s just a little different, but we had a great relationship. We got along great.
Craig: Eva, this is sounding, I’m not saying it’s sounding exactly like yours and Ron’s story, but I’m hearing small town in Mississippi. I’m hearing high school sweethearts and basically growing up together.
Craig: We weren’t high school sweethearts, but I mean, we knew each other in high school, but we never dated in high school. It wasn’t until college.
Caitlyn: And so you guys decided to make a life together. Talk about that.
Caitlyn: My ex-husband’s family owned a business and he was very involved in that and really enjoyed that business. But currently he was studying at Mississippi state with a biology degree to go to med school. Well, his parents were pushing him to go to med school because they saw how hard they had to work and how hard it was and how much it took from your family to own your own business and how much you have to be dedicated and diligent. And you have to be there and you know, it’s a lot to own your own business. And so they would have rather him gone to med school. That’s really not what he wanted to do. He really wanted to open his own business.
Craig: Why did you fall in love with your husband?
Caitlyn: Because he was kind and he was somebody I wanted to be like.
Craig: And the two of you, um, not only decided to get married, but you decided to work together as well. And what is that like because again, I know Roane and Eva worked together every single day, and I know that that can have unique challenges. What was it like for you? What was your experience?
Caitlyn: We made a great team. We work together great. I don’t even know if we ever really got in fights. I mean, I can’t remember even a knock-down drag-out fight that we ever got in. It was just easy. We got along great. You know, I knew my role. He, he knew his role and I just kinda fed off of him and we made a great team.
Craig: Describe those roles. I heard you say, you know, we both had our place, our role in the relationship be more specific.
Caitlyn: So I feel like I was probably more in the background and I did a lot of things that weren’t very noticeable, but were very influential. He was more out front dealing with the people. Whereas I was more behind the scenes, maybe computer work, design, making sure everything flowed, making sure we had the, what we needed to operate.
Eva: When did you start a family?
Caitlyn: We had our first child in 2016. So we got married and had our first child about a year after we were married, when he was three, he started having seizures and we really didn’t know what was wrong. And we went through several different misdiagnoses and finally they diagnosed him with a genetic disorder. Um, it’s a disorder that I carry a mutation and my husband carried a mutation and he got both copies of the mutation. So he is recessive for the disorder. I’m a carrier. My husband’s a carrier. So after we learned all that and learned how to cope through dealing with that, basically his symptoms were seizures, he has seizures. And because he had so many seizures before we found out the diagnosis, um, he is delayed and he’s not a normal eight year old now, but when we first found out what he had, they gave us three to six months for him to live. And that was in 2016.
Craig: What kind of unique challenges did you guys experience together as a couple? You have a child who had these health concerns. You’re going to different doctors trying to understand how best to help him. And if I remember correctly, it was almost a shot in the dark that a doctor took to determine whether or not this genetic condition exists. And it turned out that this very rare condition was going to be a part of his life. And so how did that impact your marriage, your relationship, and your daily life?
Caitlyn: After we did the testing and we found out this is what he has, and it’s a very specific disorder, there’s only one other person in the United States that has the exact same mutations that he has. It’s very rare. And so after we found out this is what’s wrong, we started looking up the best places to go, the best doctors, where we need to go, who to get guidance from because of the hospital that we were at, you know, they only had a couple other patients that had this genetic mutation, this genetic disorder, and those patients didn’t live very long. So, the hospital, they didn’t have very much experience. We got online and we started looking and researching where to go. And actually the geneticist at the hospital recommended us to go to this doctor at the time she was in Pittsburgh. And so we went there and that’s who we still see. We see her about once a year, but after we went to see her, you know, she has patients from all over the world that come to see her. There are a lot of people that live with these disorders. There are a lot of people that are normal that live with these disorders, but she gave us a lot more hope. We had a lot more hope after we left that doctor’s appointment, that this is manageable, that people do live with this condition. And, you know, you can do it. They take what’s called a Mito cocktail, which consists of a lot of vitamins. He does still have some, sometimes seizure outbreaks or they call them like stroke, like episodes, but he’s doing really well for what he has and you know, we’re doing the best we can, where we are with what he has.
Craig: I mean, that’s so heavy even to hear you say it now. Um, how, how did it impact your relationship with your husband?
Caitlyn: Well, I think it definitely put a strain on our marriage just because we were so fixated on trying to fix him. Cause at first it was like, okay, we found out what it is. It’s like, we want to fix it. We want to cure, you know, everybody, you know, who wants to seek terminally ill child, you know, which is the reality of what it is for parents. We wanted to fix it. And you know, if there was going to be a way we were going to find it and it didn’t matter what it was going to be, we were going to do it. And I, so I think we were so fixated on trying to fix him, that we lost connect between us. We still had a great relationship. Don’t get me wrong. We still loved each other. We still work together. We still, but I think I took it different than he did. I think, you know, I’m more of, okay, this is what we’ve been given. We’re going to make it through. We’re going to do it, whatever we have to do to make it. And I think he took it more as like, I can’t fix it. So I’m a failure or I can’t fix this. So, you know, I’ve let our son down because he couldn’t make it right.
Craig: Well, not withstanding these just incredible challenges. You guys decided to have another child
Caitlyn: After we came to a place where, um, we felt comfortable with this new normal, because that’s basically what it is. And I, I still think of life like before he got sick and after he got sick, it’s just something that I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget the day it happened. And you know, it was just some things in life are milestones that you never forget after we adjusted to a new normal, which consists of meds. And, um, we go to the hospital once a month for an infusion. After we adjusted to that, you know, something we didn’t talk about is in the midst of figuring all this out with our son, we were renovating our home that we lived in and it was a huge undertaking. And so we were not only dealing with the sickness of our child. We were dealing with trying to get this house put back together. It was already to a point where it was either finish it or it was just going to sit there and ruin. So we were trying to deal with our son and renovating this huge project, which is something that we did enjoy doing together.
Craig: It sounds like you guys were a really, really great team together. You had the creative energy and he made the things happen is what I’m hearing you say. And it also, what I’m hearing you say is, and Eva, maybe you can comment on this based on your experience. It, it reminds me of myself a lot of times because we, we have so much going on in our life. You guys, for running a business, you are renovating a home. You were in a relatively, relatively young relationship. You were dealing with the immeasurable challenges associated with caring for a sick child. Eva, is this something that, I mean, it seems like this is a story that a lot of people would be telling, um, today,
Eva: The very beginning of your life, what I hear and pick up on, Caitlyn, is that you just had a lot of intensity, you know, growing up in the home that you grew up in and then you get into a relationship. And then you’ve got all these challenges with, um, a sick child, uh, facing life and death situations. And then, you know, also a huge project working together as a therapist, we do define that as intensity. There’s lots of intensity instead of a really peaceful, calm, intimate existence.
Caitlyn: Oh, it was definitely a very intense, I mean, it was, we always had something going on. You know, he wanted to stay busy to keep his mind off of everything that was going on. And I think, you know, after we finished renovating our home, it was to a place where it went, Oh, we should take things slow. And unless you just enjoy being here and let’s calm down, you know, that was my mindset after getting finished, but that wasn’t his mindset. He wanted to stay busy and keep going and keep his mind off of things. And of course you have to stay busy too. I mean, we, we owned our own businesses. If we didn’t stay busy, we weren’t making money. You’re not making money. You can’t leave. You know? So I mean, it’s a double-edged sword too. I mean, add, stay busy. You know, it’s not like we could just sit home for a month. It was rare to even sit home for a day.
Craig: And so to add to the intensity, you guys decided notwithstanding the genetic challenges and the unique genetic situation, a one in 10 million genetic situations, you guys decided to have another, talk about that.
Caitlyn: We did. Um, so we decided to, um, look into having another child. And with that, you know, we had to look into IVF because if we were to can save on our own, there’d be a 25% chance that our child would have what my son has. So, um, we went through that, it took us about a year to do all of that. We had to make embryos. The lab had to create a test to detect them mutations that we carried, you know, after the embryos were made, they had to take a sale from the embryo, send to the lab to figure out, you know, which embryo had, which mutation and which ones were good and which ones were bad. So it took us a little time, but in 2018, we did have another child. Um, she’s now two and she’s doing great. And she’s definitely the light of my life.
Craig: Everything sound really complicated and y’all didn’t necessarily have fertility issues, but you had other considerations which made you make a more careful planned attempt at adding to your family. Eva used the word intensity, and I’m never characterize Caitlyn’s life story like that. But I’m definitely feeling that intense energy in the little bit, she shared so far,
Eva: Right. And going through IVF, all the women out there, listening to this story today, know how difficult that is and what you went through to have your daughter.
Craig: Well, speaking of moments in time that a person will never forget, can you transition and talk a little bit about how your relationship with your husband changed during this season of time? Because you were doing life, you were doing business, you were being successful, you renovated a beautiful home, you had special, unique challenges with your son. You wanted to add to your family and you successfully did so. Um, but something got lost along the way.
Caitlyn: So I think this goes back to when we were talking about staying busy after we came to a new normal with our son, I think that we were both under a lot of stress.
Caitlyn: I think I deal with stress a lot different than he deals with stress. I think he dealt with stress by staying busy and what I mean, not only by renovating houses, it would be not being home at night, going to the casino, staying at the bar with his friends. In my mind, I was thinking, okay, he’s just stressed. He’s got a lot on his plate. If that’s what you know, helps him relieve stress is having some may time with his friends or go into the casino with his friends, let it be.
Craig: So that didn’t upset you the way that he was coping with the stress and difficulty in his life. It sounds like you were, you were supportive of that.
Caitlyn: I was supportive for whatever made him happy.
Craig: You guys listening right now who are thinking what’s wrong.
Caitlyn: I mean, it was hard, you know, being home, you know, I would go to work. So I would take her to work with me. And then, um, I’d come home and, you know, take care of my son, make meds. I mean, there were some nights that I cook dinner and he wouldn’t even come home or wouldn’t be home in time to eat. And when he got home, he was ready to go to bed and I was exhausted myself. You know, I can sit here and blame myself for not giving him the attention that he needed, but how can you do that when somebody is not home or when they do come home, you’ve been busy doing everything to keep everything together. And you know, there were times that I was a little resentful, but did I let him know that? And no, I just kept going.
Hey, this is Eva Hunter from LifeWorks counseling at LifeWorks. Our counselors seek to integrate healthy faith-based principles with sound clinical skills, whether you’re struggling in a relationship or have feelings that hinder your ability to be all you’re created to be one of our trained counselors can help. We seek to partner with you as our client to find the freedom to live the life God intended for you. We offer our experience strength and hope to promote healthy relationships, built on intimacy and trust, LifeWorks counseling, the science and soul of connection.
Hey, I’m Matt Easterling. Thanks for listening to a podcast. Hope you’re finding these stories insightful and comforting. If you relate to anything you’ve heard so far, or if you just want more information, you can request a consultation, right? From our website, I completing a simple online forum. Of course, you’re also free to just give us a call. Family law is all we do is experts. We have the information and advice you need to move forward. Whatever that may look like for you, who would love to be in your corner until then sit back, relax, enjoy part two of today’s show.
Craig: So Caitlin, what I’ve, what I’ve heard you say is you guys were living a busy life. You were a supportive wife, you were doing, you were working, you were taking care of your children. You were taking care of a very sick child. And, you guys were not only doing life together, but you were, you’re doing it with a lot of intensity, but you guys started to drift apart. What were some of the things looking back now that you noticed when things started to go downhill?
Caitlyn: Looking back now, I can remember there were times at night in the middle of the night where, you know, I remember waking up and him being on his phone under the covers, and I just kinda thought, well, he can’t sleep. He’s playing a game on his phone and he’s not wanting the light to wake us up. So he’s hiding under the covers on his phone. Then it got to where he was supposedly watching a Netflix series in my son’s room. So he would stay up watching that series on, uh, in my son’s room and wouldn’t come to bed. And so that was another odd thing that I noticed. And then it came to a point where he came to me and said he was considering taking a trip out of the country because he was going to open an offshore account.
Craig: So what I’m hearing you say is that he planted a tree up and the explanation was for business purposes?
Caitlyn: For business. Yes. He planned a trip out of the country for business. And first I was like, no, that is crazy. You’re not doing that. Well, he had his friends convinced that that is what he was going to do. And they convinced me that’s what he was going to do. So at the time, you know, I really don’t want to fuss about it. I really don’t want to fight about it if that’s what he thinks that he needs to do that that’s fine. So he did, he went out of the country and he was gone for about I guess five days, maybe four nights. And one of the biggest changes is when came home that night and the clothes that he had on was probably the biggest thing that I’ve noticed. He was jeans, boots, button up shirt, kind of guy, kind of more like a cowboy type guy. I don’t know if we mentioned this when he was younger, he did barrel races and, you know, rode dirt bikes was all into that. So when I saw him and he had on this gray and black checkered tailor shirt with a designer belt and skinny jeans and leather dress shoes, it was, I was really taken back by it because it was so odd. I didn’t say anything about it because I sent something was going on, but I didn’t want to make a big deal about it, especially right then I was just trying to play cool. And just try to figure it out. Really. I was just trying to figure out what was going on. When I saw him, the first thing I said was, I know what you’ve been doing. I’ve had somebody following you.
Craig: So you were suspicious that there was another woman.
Caitlyn: So after I said that, the look on his face, really telling me that something to go in on, cause it was like, Oh, she’s been following me. And he was like asking me all these questions. And this time we had life 360. So, and I remember one particular instance while he was out of the country, I text him and ask him what he was doing. And he said he was in town handling some business. And but all my life 360, it showed him at the beach. When all of this came into fruition, I asked him about that exact day. And he was at the beach, the life 360 works even when you’re out of the country,
Caitlyn: You saw him coping with the difficulties of your life differently. And you attempted to be supportive, but distance grew between the two of you. And then there started to be secrets and the behavior changed and his dress changed. And you were suspicious that he was having an affair with another woman.
Caitlyn: And I really think I noticed after I had my daughter, that’s when I really noticed the biggest change, because it was like the tension wasn’t all on him anymore. You know, I had a son, a daughter and working and doing everyday life. It was like, I didn’t have enough attention to give to everybody, but that’s just a phase that we go through. I mean, anybody having a newborn knows that it’s tough for a little while and it’s not easy. And I mean, you know, as a women, we know that our hormones are going crazy and we’re trying to cope with everything and hold everything together. But really we just want to cry and scream and just get back to normal, you know?
Eva: I do. You know, I love to say this out loud to women, you know, the three C’s you didn’t cause it, even though you had, you were taking care of little children, you didn’t cause it, you can’t change it. You can’t control it. And I love hearing these parts of your story that you really didn’t try to control him. Like you were so supportive of him and you really believe deem your intuition start. Your second brain is what we call our intuition started going off. Like something is off that. Just not sure what it is.
Craig: And the guys listening to this right now are like, what are they talking about? I have no idea, but actually as doing this work now for a long time and I’m married and I have two daughters and um, I’m learning that that’s a super power that you guys have. And so your super power, this intuition, just, just things aren’t just quite right. And so your husband does something that doesn’t seem quite right. He’s going to go out of the country. And this is really out of the ordinary. Now he’s dressing different and that’s, that’s just different. It’s out of the ordinary.
Caitlyn: But in reality, you won’t take nor that because you know that whatever it is, it’s about to change your life. And so you really don’t want to accept that your guts telling you something, you want to push it off because you know, as soon as you find out what your instinct is trying to tell you, your life is going to be changed forever.
Craig: Caitlin, that’s huge. I hope whoever’s listening to this, that needed to hear this. Well, I don’t know if there’s a rewind button on modern apps but hit the rewind button and listen to that again, because you didn’t want to trust that second brain. You didn’t want to trust that superpower because you knew deep down that there was going to be a earthquake size shift in your life. And you did experience that earthquake size shift. He came home from the trip, he got sick. You supported him in that illness, the secretive behavior continued. And you finally confronted him. What was that like?
Caitlyn: He was sick. And um, he had been to several doctors trying to figure out what was going on. And I remember this one day very specifically he was so sick. He couldn’t get out of bed. And I said, come on. We were going to the ER, this is ridiculous. We’re not going to sit here and be like this when we can go and see if we can get you some help. So I had called my parents, his parents to come get the kids and take them. And we came to Jackson to the ER and we were sitting in the ER that night we had been sitting there for several hours and I noticed he was texting on a texting app, which I don’t have a texting app. And nobody that I know has a texting app. And so I just asked him, I said, who are you texting on the text? And I was like, just tell me. And he, of course didn’t want to tell me. And I said, no, tell me right now, who you’re texting on that app? And he said, no, you know, like, I don’t want to do this right here. And I said, we’re going to do this right here. I said, tell me what is going on? Is that who you took out of the country? You know, is that who she is? Who is she? You know, who is she? Who are you talking to? And he said, it’s not what you think. I said, what do you mean? It’s not what you think. He said, it’s not a woman. And I said, what do you mean? Are you gay? Just like that. And I knew from that, that what just came out of my mouth was the truth. I could say it all over his face.
Caitlyn: So we sat there. We still sat there even after, you know, found out that he’s thinks he’s gay. Um, we sit there and he’s telling me all about, you know, his trip and what they’ve done and what they did. So anyway, we were sitting there and, you know, I could see how happy he was really, you know, it was kinda like the happiness that I’ve wanted to say for so long, you know, the happiness that I was trying to hold everything together. So he could go do what he wanted to do, whether it be work, the casino, the bars, you know, I was trying, you know, opera to say that that’s what I was trying to, to bring back the whole time. But I think that was probably the hardest part is, you know, having to hear about this trip and what I had done. And he was so excited and showing me pictures, showing me things that they had done and things that they had bought. And it was something that, you know, he and I could have done it, but instead he chose to do that with somebody else. After he told me he felt better. Cause it was like, now she knows, you know, now I can relax about it two weeks before I found this out, he called his parents and he said, this is a Saturday afternoon. He said, what are y’all doing? And they were leaving work. And he said, I need to, I need to come talk to y’all. So he went to his parents’ house and then a few years mom tells the story it’s so much better, but she said she knew something was wrong. She sent something was wrong as a mother. I’m sure. You know,
Craig: She has that same superpower that you and Eva,
Caitlyn: She knew that whatever it was, it was strong. She could feel it. So she says that when she pulled up at the house that day, there were three black crows on the roof. She told her husband, she said, I don’t know what it is. It’s not going to be good because I think she knew for a long time something was going on the same thing I knew, but I didn’t want to address it or say anything or cause any attention to it. I just kind of wanted to push it under the table. She sensed it too, because she would call me and ask me, you know, where is he? What’s he doing what’s going on? And I was always covering for him and saying, well, he’s working, he’s showing land. He’s you know, at this house, you know, working on this house, just, you know, I think she sent something was wrong. And so he had told them two weeks before I found out. And I think he told them in a sense of, you know, I’m gay and we’re getting divorced and I need you to help me move some property over to y’all’s name, move some assets to y’all’s name.
Craig: So if I’m hearing you, right, what you find out later that two weeks before he came out to you, he had started basically planning to divorce you and to do so in a well, an underhanded way.
Caitlyn: Of course his parents said, no, we’re not helping you do that. You know, she has two children to take care of and his parents are very, they’re going to do the right thing. Like that’s how they are. It doesn’t matter. They’re going to stand up for what’s. Right. And I do commend them for that. But after I found out about this and in my mind, I want to fix it. We can make it through this, whatever we got today, whatever I got today, we can make it work. You know, which I’ve always said that that would be how I would be. If he was having an affair with a woman, I always told myself, you can make it through whatever you got do. You can do it. You know, we went to counseling, um, several different counselors. He went to one on his own. We went to a marriage counselor and it came to a point where I told him that, you know, it was either going to be the boyfriend or me. You are going to have to make a decision. If not, we were getting a divorce.
Craig: What I heard you say was you were committed, notwithstanding the atomic bomb that was dropped on you. You were committed to standing by him and trying to make the relationship work. But you, you finally had to draw a clear boundary and say, look, it’s either me or..
Caitlyn: And we did try it for about three months.
Craig: Let me ask you this. And I don’t know that I’ve ever asked you this before. What was harder? Was it the fact that your husband was gay or was it this, the betrayal associated with the cheating?
Caitlyn: I think that my husband was gay.
Craig: Really? Why?
Caitlyn: I think the part, him being gay and cheating with a male, I think it would have been a lot easier for me to deal with if he was cheating with a woman. Because I think for some reason I feel like, you know, your husband left you for a man. There must be something wrong.
Eva: It’s actually a very common either way. You know, if it’s a female or a male, it’s very common. It’s the betrayal trauma. So that’s why I always go back to the three C’s. It has nothing to do with you whatsoever, whether it’s a man or a woman, you know, I didn’t cause that I can’t change it. I can’t control it. So I just want to say that again out loud. I mean, we’re sitting here with you and our viewers. Can’t see you that you’re the total package in a really precious, precious woman. Who’s gone through very hard things.
Craig: It’s very brave. That’s the word that comes to my mind, how brave you are. And so many things in your life, you know, you bravely tackled these businesses that you were a part of. You bravely tackled the difficulty associated with the diagnosis of your son. Notwithstanding that diagnosis, you bravely tackled, expanding your family. And then your husband drops just this, um, nightmarish bit of information on you. And you bravely said, we’re gonna make this work anyway. But there came a point to where you said, I just can’t do this anymore. Describe that point.
Caitlyn: Yeah. I mean, it just came to a point where when you feel like somebody is choosing somebody else over your family, it comes to a point where I can’t live like this. You know, I can’t live like feeling like I’m second and I’m not going to, I don’t have to. So it came to that point and you know, I basically gave him the option. It’s him or me or it’s him or your family. You can’t have both. And I really honestly believe in his mind, he thought that he could have him and me. I really think that I do not think he ever thought that I would divorce him.
Craig: He thought he could have the postcard perfect little small town, Mississippi family, and still live out this.
Caitlyn: I think in his mind, he thought he could keep that second life a secret and still have his family and have this other life that was over here.
Craig:I don’t know if the listeners are having this question, but we talked a little bit about this. We did an episode with a person named Scott who, um, the episode is called. I have Hazel eyes and the way he described the fact that he’s gay is it’s just like I have Hazel eyes. It’s, it’s just who I am. You are in a unique position to have an opinion about that. Do you think that your husband was always gay or do you have other thoughts?
Caitlyn: I don’t think my husband was always gay. No, I do not think that at all, but it’s like we talked about before. I do think there are certain people that you say in your, like they’re gay, you know, just, they have that more in males. They have more of a feminine vibe and in females, you know, they have more of that manly vibe. And it’s not that you’re saying, Oh, just because they’re feminine, they’re gay or Otis because this girl’s manly. She’s gay. It’s not that it’s just, you recognize that they just have that tendency to possibly be gay.
Craig: What I’m hearing you say though, you think your husband made a choice?
Caitlyn: I think he made a choice. I think what happened to my husband particularly is I think he got caught up in money, in greed, and self-seeking, and I think he sought this out. It was given him the attention that he’d wanted and he needed. And I think he sought out the attention of it. And I still think it’s about the attention. I still do not think he’s gay. He has told me and another friend of mine on several occasions that he thinks he’s bisexual. I will never think he’s gay. But what I do think is that we all struggle with things, whether it be alcohol, whether it be porn, whether it be whatever we all struggle and we all mess up and make mistakes. And I think being gay is kind of like that. I mean, it’s a tendency that some people have. I don’t understand it. I don’t have that, but some people have that. They struggle with it. They struggle with same-sex relationships, but I feel like it is, you know, the devil that’s telling you lies. And it’s easy for me to say that because I don’t have same sex attraction. I don’t know how people like that feel. So I definitely don’t want to offend anybody or anybody has earned the right to have an opinion about it.
Craig: I feel like I’m just a person standing on the sideline. And if a person tells me that being gay is just who they are. I don’t have the right to question that. I think, Caitlin, I think you’ve earned the right to have those questions and to, in to speak them.
Caitlyn: Um, and I think this is such a different case than somebody just say, just deciding at a young age. Um, I liked the same sex. You know, this is somebody that got married that has two kids that has a family that chose that those were decisions that he chose. Nobody made him get married, nobody made him have children. And so I feel like sometimes, you know, you make choices that limit future options. And I feel like you should stand by that. I just think he got called up and I think the devil has a huge hold on him. And he’s just in a really dark art place and he’s just making bad decisions. And I think he’ll come out of it one day.
Craig: Do you leave room for reconciliation?
Caitlyn: No, I can’t get past it
Craig: Though my listeners are going to be mad at me because, um, we’re running out of time for today. Um, but I do want to talk a little bit about the divorce itself. Just in a few words, summarize what that process was like for you.
Caitlyn: It feels like a whirlwind. Um, it feels like it happened really fast and a lot of it, I don’t even remember what I was doing. I was just making decisions and honestly trust in you Craig, to help me and guide me through the process because I have no idea. And sometimes I look back and say, why did I do that? Or why did I do this? Or why didn’t I do this? But you know what? You can’t question it. You just got to carry on with life and keep going and make a decision and run with it. And that’s kinda what I feel like I’m doing with life, the divorce. I mean, it’s definitely a whirlwind. It’s definitely something that, like I said, I feel like happened so fast. It’s hard for me to even think back and remember, I mean, I feel like I was just here this time last year.
Craig: Well, how are things now? Um, how are you doing today?
Caitlyn: I’m doing good. Um, I’ve moved to another home in the same town. I’ve got a job, uh, work for some really great people. I’m enjoying what I’m doing and just, you know, taking things day by day and step-by-step, and trying to figure out a new normal, I’m still trying to figure my life out. You know, I don’t have it all figured out. I feel like I thought I had life figured out, you know, two years ago I thought, you know, that’s what I would be doing for the rest of my life. And now it’s like, I don’t know. I feel like I don’t know what I’m going to be doing the rest of my life. So I’m still trying to figure life out and still trying to figure out how to be a single mom and still have a fulfilling life that doesn’t just revolve around my kids. But it’s been, and you know, it’s different, but I’m enjoying it.
Craig: I’m going to end our talk today with this question. If you were the speaker at a conference and every woman in the hundred seat auditorium was about to walk through what you’ve walked through, what would you tell them?
Caitlyn: Don’t give up. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel.
Craig: And what does that mean for you? Not giving up the light at the end of the tunnel?
Caitlyn: I think that means for me doing the best you can every single day, every day is not the same. Every struggle is not the same, but I think you find lie within yourself. I think it’s within yourself. It’s a contentment. It’s a place of common to this is where I am and it’s okay. I’m going to be okay. No matter what, I think it’s more about being content. No life is not the way it was two years ago, but I’m in a good place and I’m okay.
Craig: Well, you’re more than okay, Caitlyn. You are brave. You are vulnerable. Everybody listening to this is just an absolute, all of your strength and your character. And thank you for being here. Thank you for your story and thank you for your willingness to share it.
Caitlyn: Thank you for having me.